Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2 January 2016. Read n’ Heed… Vladyki Lazar Puhalo on REAL Faith in Christ

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Have I always agreed with Lazar Puhalo? No… but the present offering appears to be without blemish. I offer it for your edification. I also offer it as proof as not everyone in the OCA is a nutter modernist like Oliver Herbel or John Jillions or young Meyendorff. After all, Vladyki Lazar still serves on the Traditional Orthodox Calendar… not the Catholic Calendar. I, like Vladyki Lazar, am a toll-house sceptic. My rejection stems from Chrysostom’s teaching that Judgement is being in God’s Presence, and the toll-house lunacy denies that. In any case, John the Golden-Tongued is a far better guide to the Way than the esoteric Basil the New is. Do keep things in perspective.

You don’t have to agree with someone in toto to agree with them on this or on that. I know all about Vladyki Lazar’s history… it’s no worse than some others I could cite, and in some ways it’s much better. I’ll say this… the man is no hypocrite and he has a caring heart (do understand that his defence of Storheim was partly because Storheim rescued him from schismatic floundering… if you don’t understand that, you have a heart of stone). We’re all “broken vessels” to some extent or other… as a fellow “cracked vessel of clay”, I extend to Vladyki Lazar an assumption of innocence until PROVEN guilty.

This present post conflates two posts from the same date.



Faith in Christ pertains to the inner content of the life of Christ; it isn’t just a collection of religious ideologies and moralism which ignores Christ and His message to return to bondage to the law, as if we were without Grace. The Saviour said, “Not one jot or tittle of the law shall pass away until all things be fulfilled”. How is it that Rightwing Orthodox clergy turn to this saying, and never ever pay heed to the prayer we say at the Proskomedia just after the prayer before the Amvon, and before the final blessing. It begins with the theological statement, “Thou who art Thyself the FULFILMENT OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS….” If Christ Jesus didn’t “fulfil all things”, what did He accomplish?

Of course, if you believe the Atonement heresy that posits that Christ suffered torture unto death to satisfy the bloodlust of a cruel and unforgiving deity, and that He died to save us from God, then, you mightn’t realise that Christ did indeed, FULFIL ALL THINGS so that every jot and tittle of the law may pass away, so that the “manuscript that was against us is torn up” as St Paul says, and breaks down the “middle wall”. If you are a toll-house believer, then, you already confess that Christ failed and fell short.

We live under Grace; God calls us to repent because of love. Indeed, to repent from fear is merely a fraud, since no one repents from fear, but rather attempts through some sort of penitence, to self-atone to avoid punishment. However, seeking to avoid punishment is mere pragmatism; it isn’t repentance. Repentance is a sincere heartfelt turning around, changing one’s perspective, to seek the spiritual healing of the whole person, which comes about by opening oneself fully to the love, grace and embrace of God, as did the Prodigal Son… to turn around and find that the Father’s forgiveness doesn’t come about when we turn to end our alienation, but that it’s followed us, nay, pursued us, from the moment we turned and walked away from Him. We have only to begin the journey, and we suddenly discover the Father running down the road toward us, bearing a robe of love and a ring of grace.

We shouldn’t strive to fulfil laws, but rather we should transform the inner person into a likeness of the Life of Christ. One can’t do this through laws, moralism, or ideologies, but only through striving toward unselfish love, toward a full comprehension of what it is to love your neighbour as yourself, how our desire, together with the action of His Grace, can bring about a true morality, not through fear, but through a return from our alienation that leads us to do by nature those things which pertain to true morality, not through constraint of law, but by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

I was rather shocked to hear that some semi-convert clergy condemn the teaching that the Church is a spiritual hospital. It seems some of them think that the Church is a court of law or a hall of condemnation. However, the doctrine of the Church as a spiritual hospital is clearly and profoundly patristic. It seems that the diseases of Calvinism and Evangelicalism are spreading in the Orthodox Church, particularly down in America, where a nationalism far, far worse than that in Russia has already crippled Christianity. One really does wonder just what these people think the Church is. It’s sufficient to note that the toll-house faction already considers, and confesses, that the sacrifice of Christ is inadequate to gain for us remission of our sins, and that God needs the help of demons to complete our salvation.

31 December 2015

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo (OCA)



Let’s keep it simple. “Evangelicalism” isn’t Christian in any way, shape, or form. We made a mistake in ordaining former Prods to the clergy without a complete Orthodox seminary formation (furthermore, if we had an ounce of sanity, said formation couldn’t commence until they’d been with us for at least five years… to see if they’d conform to Churchly, not “Evangelical”, norms). Therefore, we had things like St Herman of Alaska in Platina, Sam Greene’s bunch in Texas, and St Innocent Academy up in Alaska happen. We paid (and are paying) dearly for allowing unformed Prods without a sense of the Orthosphere or the Orthodox mindset to prance about and pretend that they’re Orthodox clergy. I think that we all know who I’m referring to… there’s no need to “name names”.

“If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand (Gospel according to St Mark 3.25)”… indeed… either we cleanse ourselves of the konvertsy mentality or it’ll consume us. That be the stark choice on offer. We can have Josiah Trenham and John Whiteford or we can have some young clergy from St T’s who shall remain anonymous (there’s more than one that I’m thinking of)… I prefer the latter… I’m NOT alone!

The Church shall have Inner Unity… of what sort is up to us…


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23 December 2015. Orthodox Christians! Aid Your Coreligionists in Novorossiya, Not the Uniate/Schismo Nationalist Trash!

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“Halt fascism!”


Here are two links for you:



Do NOT send money to the IOCC, or to OCA/ROCOR efforts, as the “aid” is going to help the theomachistic Uniate/schismo junta, NOT the godpleasing canonical Orthodox of the Peoples Republics. The two links above will educate you about what you should do… do be careful… we have pro-Western filth like Potapov and Paffhausen (the former was/is a CIA propagandist and the latter is a running dog of the American Enterprise Institute, a viciously anti-Rodina outfit) amongst us… sadly, they’re not alone… most of the Golden 400 have sold out to the American Establishment (just look at Serge Schmemann, Sofia Kishkovsky and Vassa Larina… I rest my case).


Sunday, 15 November 2015

15 November 2015. A Blast from the Metropolia Past…

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Frs Dmitri Ressetar, Kohanick, and Kuby in Jersey City NJ in the pre-World War II period.


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Fr Daniel Ressetar (son of Fr Dmitri) with the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” (1967?), Harrisburg PA


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Archbishop John Garklavs of Chicago and the Midwest with the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” (1967?), Harrisburg PA


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Another image of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” visit in Harrisburg PA (1967)


If we don’t know where we came from, we can’t know where we’re going. Most of the loudmouth konvertsy voices on the internet know nothing of the REAL history of the Church here, nor do they have a clue about who the real heroes and villains were. They don’t know who Bishop Kip was, they haven’t heard of anyone other than Schmemann, Seraphim Rose, and the “Evangelical Orthodox” set. Well, if it hadn’t been for the spadework by the pioneers, none of those people would have mattered… ordinary working people and the priests who served them founded our Church… not the rich, not the powerful, not the people in the “big house on the hill”.

I honour what our forebears did. THEY founded the Church, but they get no credit on worthless chatter-sites such as Monomuckos. Keep this in mind… our Church did NOT begin in the “right” suburb… it did NOT begin amongst the garden party set. Our Church started in countless mine and mill towns off-the-beaten-track. Our Church started in obscurity. It didn’t have anyone like Freddie M-G or Rod Dreher in it… but it did have thousands of ordinary Joes and Marys who built up the Church that we have today. THEY ARE THE REAL HEROES.

I will NEVER stop saying such until the day I die. Grasp the real… not the phantasmagorical… that’s where God is…


Saturday, 31 October 2015

31 October 2015. Matushka Lila Ann Regan… Memory Eternal!

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Lila Ann Regan died on Tuesday, 27 October 2015, after suffering two years with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer.

She was born in Hollywood CA in May 1946, but she lived her early years in nearby Pasadena. Then, she met her husband of 39 years, Michael, at the then-new St John Chrysostom mission in Pasadena CA. The couple married in 1976, promptly going for three years to St Vladimir Seminary in Yonkers NY. She worked for Pacific Bell for over ten years, then, transferred to New York Bell for three years. After that, for many years, she was an elementary school secretary at Fairmont Elementary School in Vacaville School District, from which she retired in 2012. At the same time, as an Orthodox priest’s wife (‘matushka’ [Russian for “Little Mother”]), first at St Herman in Oxnard CA (1979-83), and then at St Michael, now in Concord CA, for 32 years, ever-faithful in her service as the “sunshine lady” and friendly voice for everyone.

She is survived by her husband, Archpriest Michael, and three children, Thomas, Nicholas, and Kristia, and by her three sisters, Doris Holmes, Bernice Shaheen, Linda Rafeedie, her brother George Rafeedie, and many extended family members. Services for Matushka Lila will be Saturday, 7 November, with the funeral beginning at 11.00 at St Michael Orthodox Church, 2425 Olivera Road, Concord CA., with interment following at Oakmont Cemetery in Lafayette CA.

Please make donations in Lila’s name to St Michael’s Orthodox Church in lieu of flowers.

The parish website is here. Contact them with all enquiries.

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